Taylor Ri’chard is a 1998 graduate of Church Point High School. (Photo by Claudette Olivier/Louisiana State Newspapers)
Church Point native to release second film
When it comes to a love of horror movies, Taylor Ri’chard is an apple that did not fall far from the tree, and the ground where the roots of his family tree are planted are a source of inspiration in his career.
Ri’chard said, “Short story - I just really fell in love with horror films. My grandmother and my mom were big horror film fans, and so growing up, I was able to watch those films, which normally, I guess, you wouldn’t let kids watch, but they would sneak me in and let me watch some of them.
“I actually became a fan. Through that, I started researching some of the origins of horror films, and found out and realized that Louisiana is so big on folklore, all of that stuff, magic and witchcraft and voodoo and all those great little things that have makings for good stories, good horror stories, and it just grew from there.”
Ri’chard, the son of Shirley Ri’chard, of Church Point, and Robert Taylor, of Carencro, is a 1998 graduate of Church Point High School. Ri’chard followed his dreams to the big city, and he is now an Atlanta-based horror film director, writer, producer and owner of 3rd Fathom Films.
His second film, “Hallowed Be Thy Name,” will debut later this month on several video on demand platforms as well as home video.
The movie follows a teenage boy who has moved from Chicago to his mother’s hometown to live with his grandmother following his parent’s divorce. Devin, the central character, must find a way to save himself and his friends after disturbing the rest of an ancient demon, the cauchemar, a figure found in Cajun folklore. The group of friends and the town may be able to amend their decisions but the outcome could also be far too detrimental to repair.
“Being from here, I look at the world and I’m watching all these horror films come out, and I’m watching the recycle of such the genre - ‘Let’s remake Friday the 13th, let’s remake Chucky,’” Ri’chard said. “There are really good nuggets already here that are untold. Louisiana is just pouring (with) phenomenal thriller stories.”
Ri’chard said the movie directing bug really bit him following a high school trip to tour Chretien Point Plantation.
“When I was there, the feeling of the chills and the whole vibe, I was like, you know what, one day I’m going to tell this story to the world because it’s something the world should know — it’s interesting,” he said.
The trip was also the inspiration for Ri’chard’s first film, The Final Project. The film is about a group of college students working on a documentary about one of the most notorious haunted sites in the Southern United States
“I use those stories as a kind of a blueprint, but I develop my own story on top of it,” Ri’chard said. “I’m bringing knowledge about the plantations to the world while at the same time telling my uniquely written story about the topic I want to talk about, which is really possession.
“It’s similar with the cauchemar, the film we have coming out. We are talking about cauchemar, the legend of him, the stories we hear about the kids going into the cave and stealing the relics and getting chased by this 200-year-old demon.”
Ri’chard said the film was also originally set to premiere in select theaters, including some in Lafayette, Broussard, New Orleans and Atlanta on May 29.
“It was so sad (cancelling the premieres),” he said.
While he awaits the video on demand release of his new movie, Ri’chard continues to work on other films. Three of those films are drama. The fourth, a horror-psychological thriller titled “Bête en Bois,” will be set near Church Point. Ri’chard was recently in Church Point to visit family for two weeks, and he said he is currently working with Church Point Mayor Ryan “Spanky” Meche to develop a plan for bringing some film revenue to Louisiana, specifically Church Point.
Ri’chard said he is both nervous and excited about the premiere of his new film.
“This is different - my first film was kind of a first time filmmaker, very Indie feel,” Ri’chard said. “This is more of a larger step forward in expressing myself as an artist, kind of delivering my point of view, my aesthetic. I am interested to see how people receive my growth.”
Ri’chard said he receives a lot of support from friends and family in Church Point, and he appreciates the encouragement.
“I am hopefully creating a path for a new type of outlook for younger people coming behind me, like I too can become a film director and reach a certain level of success,” he said.
For more information about Ri’chard and his films, visit www.3rdfathom.com.